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667 clicks; posted to Main » and Discussion » on 20 Jan 2021 at 3:30 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-20 2:54:40 PM  
So I'm told that something big happened this morning, and maybe now we can get back to just normal, boring news again.  If so, that'd be a nice change, because trying to come up with fantastic, horrifying ideas is harder when you're in competition with what's actually happening.  Maybe even satire can come back to life in 2021, who knows.  Anything's possible, at least in reality.

Minor writing progress to report: not much, but ~2K words, some of which, strangely, were not immediately terrible.  Usually, that's how it goes, I think everything I write is utter garbage until I come back to look at it later.  Maybe I'll look at this stuff after the fact and be appalled.  Well, if that's the case, it's gonna be in good company: we're all looking back at the last few years appalled anyway.

Writing question of the week: When you write something, do you immediately judge it?  How do you know if something's good just by looking at it?
 
2021-01-20 3:41:54 PM  
"Truth would quickly cease to be stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it."

― H. L. Mencken
 
2021-01-20 3:41:59 PM  
To be honest I can tell if my work is shiate when I come back to it after 15 minutes or more then I can recognize details and when things don't sound right.
 
2021-01-20 3:44:10 PM  

toraque: Writing question of the week: When you write something, do you immediately judge it?  How do you know if something's good just by looking at it?


You sleep for a night and then come back and read it.

It's pretty obvious what's crap.
 
2021-01-20 3:45:44 PM  
Yeah, give it a little time and read it again with fresh eyes as if you're a new reader to what you wrote. You'll be able to tell if it makes sense, is good, is boring, etc.
 
2021-01-20 3:47:30 PM  
You know it's good when it gives you that same chill of elation up and down your spine whenever you read it. If, after a time of forgetting about, it still evokes the emotions, thoughts, and feelings the writing was initially intended to do.
 
2021-01-20 3:49:01 PM  
It takes a couple of days before I can see it clearly enough to judge. Then, I'll read it out loud. It doesn't take long to tell how much rework the bit will need.
 
2021-01-20 3:52:39 PM  
I wrote this last night. Probably inspired by all the marxist/left wing terror group histor ive been reading lately along with the 1962 French film "La Jetee' ".

"his one dimensional man"

yesterday died a slow death
a fist unclenched
a yellow balloon circled the sun.

every thought
came forward to
ask for forgiveness.

your sister got the sleeping sickness
and tied her blanket into knots.
Now the city
has let her alone.

futurism espoused
the rejection of the past
a celebration of speed.
 machinery, violence, youth.

the villagers want nothing from science.
they have the forest
dark bread and cucumber
rabbit stew.
they cannot sniff
the parishioners of progress
downwind and narrow eyed
      waiting
for the snapped finger of history.
 
2021-01-20 3:57:19 PM  

toraque: So I'm told that something big happened this morning


What happened was one group wanted to listen to Guns n Roses and another group wanted to listen to Billy Ray Cyrus and then a parent came in and put on John Denver.
 
2021-01-20 3:59:50 PM  
Don't underestimate boring history.

When I was based in Saudi, we loved boring. Exciting was usually something horrible and dangerous.
 
2021-01-20 4:00:29 PM  

dothemath: I wrote this last night. Probably inspired by all the marxist/left wing terror group histor ive been reading lately along with the 1962 French film "La Jetee' ".

"his one dimensional man"...


I like it. It is time Haiku broke out of the mold yet retained the semblance
 
2021-01-20 4:02:28 PM  
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Mark Twain
 
2021-01-20 4:02:42 PM  

berylman: I like it. It is time Haiku broke out of the mold yet retained the semblance


Thanks, I appreciate it but how do you see a haiku in that..?
 
2021-01-20 4:04:53 PM  
If my writing seems unfamiliar to me, as if some recording angel had been guiding my pen, then it is typically acceptable.

Doing 3 semesters of court reporting really refined my instincts. I cannot quantify it simply, but a lot of it was inherent with that writing style of using mere facts, stating which detail was newest on the docket. These were to go online as soon as possible.

I guess it's like explaining how to know how to swing at a fastball. You just have to fail catastrophically a few hundred times to learn it.
 
2021-01-20 4:14:55 PM  

KodosZardoz: You know it's good when it gives you that same chill of elation up and down your spine whenever you read it. If, after a time of forgetting about, it still evokes the emotions, thoughts, and feelings the writing was initially intended to do.


THIS. I've gone back and re-read some of my early stuff because I had legit forgotten what I'd done with a few things that I wanted to reference in a later work, and was genuinely surprised (and pleased!) to find out that not only was it still good, it was better than I had remembered. Things that gave me The Feels back then still do now, and there were bits that were genuinely Laugh-Out-Loud funny, which I did not expect from my own writing. It's weird, but it gives me a bit more confidence in my skill, and now I'm doubly mad at myself I wasn't able to put anything together for last year's anthology.

I'm totally submitting a work this year, and I've got a couple of ideas I wanna tinker with; the one that got accepted for 2019 is the start of a full series I wanna build on, and I'm spinning up another potential series, once I can actually sort out my thoughts and get a coherent short story out to build on. :)

...

You know, once I've got the focus to sit down and write, instead of just daydreaming all day. :P
 
2021-01-20 4:16:44 PM  
Little things like the election and insurrection and, oh yeah, my father going into hospice and dying... that slowed my output just a smidge for the last month and a half. Trying to get back into the swing of regular writing sessions. Ideas are starting to flow again.

Anyway, of course I immediately judge what I just wrote. More than I ever have, these days. But I also sweat less about it. I'll reread and pick better words, check for flow,

I've learned a bit about how to up my game. I thought my first draft stuff was pretty good, once. Showed it to a few people, got some valuable feedback. Lurked on some author forums and watched some helpful stuff[*]. So I went back and reworked it, and now I'm kind of embarrassed by that first draft. Not at its quality - first drafts are going to be clunky, I accept that now. No, I'm embarrassed that I didn't properly realize that before. It's not that I never revised my work before; it's that now I understand I'm going to have to look over everything.

So I accept that revisions are going to be needed. And nearly always in my case, I'm going to have to bust up dense prose and turn it into dialogue and action. But I need that initial think-through to get the plot right, so oh well.

[*] For example, this guy has actually published a lot and went through an earlier version of this course before that, so it's pretty polished by now. Covers a lot of good stuff. It's all the lectures from an actual college course on writing scifi/fantasy.

Lecture #1: Introduction - Brandon Sanderson on Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy
Youtube -6HOdHEeosc
 
2021-01-20 4:25:14 PM  
I firmly believe that politics ought to be boring. People who cultivate fear and anger are trying to manipulate you. And yes, the evening news does it too.

As for work, I started Deflection Point Part 25 in August. I set a schedule based on one or two months per story. This one took almost six months, but it's done! It's done! Halfway through the series, and it's only taken seven and a half years. That's 90 months, which works out to three and an avocado per story.

As for the QOTW, I don't write it down unless I feel some energy. If it feels boring, it will probably sound boring. Don't add a boring piece just to connect two interesting pieces.
 
2021-01-20 4:56:02 PM  
Got notes back from 2 readers.  The first was someone who I thought might hate it because they don't usually go for temporally complicated scripts and this one bounces around like Happy Super Fun Ball.  But she loves the genre and had been excited when I told her about it.  Her first sentence was 'So, I read it.'  I don't know if it's possible to get more lukewarm but it only got more lukewarm from there.

Reader 2 was the reader who actually likes scripts that treat the warp and weft of space-time like a pinball table.  I told myself if he didn't like it, I was screwed.  When he came back saying he loved it and it was the best thing I've written I let out a breath I didn't realize I'd been holding.

Both had notes.  After working with those, it goes to my writing groups.  Then a zoom reading, just for giggles and kicks.
 
2021-01-20 5:30:56 PM  
10K words done on my book so far...

For those of you looking for inspiration on how to start, how to edit, or just how to actually construct a story (There's a hell of a lot more to it than Beginning, Middle, and End) then I really Recommend picking up one of the Save the Cat! series (depending on what medium you are writing for) and give it a whirl.

The Audiobooks are on Audible (not a sponsor) and worth listening to.

After I completed the worksheet I have a really clear understanding of exactly how my story is going to go without getting bogged down in trying to write a completely detailed outline.

When I'm done with my book I'll post it on Wattpad
 
2021-01-20 5:33:29 PM  

sorceror: Little things like the election and insurrection and, oh yeah, my father going into hospice and dying... that slowed my output just a smidge for the last month and a half. Trying to get back into the swing of regular writing sessions. Ideas are starting to flow again.

Anyway, of course I immediately judge what I just wrote. More than I ever have, these days. But I also sweat less about it. I'll reread and pick better words, check for flow,

I've learned a bit about how to up my game. I thought my first draft stuff was pretty good, once. Showed it to a few people, got some valuable feedback. Lurked on some author forums and watched some helpful stuff[*]. So I went back and reworked it, and now I'm kind of embarrassed by that first draft. Not at its quality - first drafts are going to be clunky, I accept that now. No, I'm embarrassed that I didn't properly realize that before. It's not that I never revised my work before; it's that now I understand I'm going to have to look over everything.

So I accept that revisions are going to be needed. And nearly always in my case, I'm going to have to bust up dense prose and turn it into dialogue and action. But I need that initial think-through to get the plot right, so oh well.

[*] For example, this guy has actually published a lot and went through an earlier version of this course before that, so it's pretty polished by now. Covers a lot of good stuff. It's all the lectures from an actual college course on writing scifi/fantasy.

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/-6HOdHEe​osc]


I love Sanderson's work. If you haven't read anything by him, at least pick up The Final Empire, Book 1 of the Mistborn series... holy shiat it's awesome.
 
2021-01-20 7:10:38 PM  
I'm at that "why do I bother?" stage. Got a book published and had my publisher go out of business. Now I have the hassle of getting it unpublished everywhere so I can republish it myself. At least it's still available, so I've got that going for me. Got some nibbles on short stories, but no bites. Finished a book and I'm not sure I like it enough to even self publish it. Aiyah.
 
2021-01-20 9:24:05 PM  
I am currently at around 26k words.  I judge everything I write immediately.  If I love it, I leave it.  Otherwise I think about editing it.  Sometimes I come up with something much better.
 
2021-01-20 11:32:27 PM  

crumblecat: Don't underestimate boring history.

When I was based in Saudi, we loved boring. Exciting was usually something horrible and dangerous.


A rousing adventure is hindsight from sufficient distance, looking back at what was stark pants-wetting terror at the time.
 
2021-01-20 11:38:00 PM  

sorceror: Little things like the election and insurrection and, oh yeah, my father going into hospice and dying... that slowed my output just a smidge for the last month and a half. Trying to get back into the swing of regular writing sessions. Ideas are starting to flow again.

Anyway, of course I immediately judge what I just wrote. More than I ever have, these days. But I also sweat less about it. I'll reread and pick better words, check for flow,

I've learned a bit about how to up my game. I thought my first draft stuff was pretty good, once. Showed it to a few people, got some valuable feedback. Lurked on some author forums and watched some helpful stuff[*]. So I went back and reworked it, and now I'm kind of embarrassed by that first draft. Not at its quality - first drafts are going to be clunky, I accept that now. No, I'm embarrassed that I didn't properly realize that before. It's not that I never revised my work before; it's that now I understand I'm going to have to look over everything.

So I accept that revisions are going to be needed. And nearly always in my case, I'm going to have to bust up dense prose and turn it into dialogue and action. But I need that initial think-through to get the plot right, so oh well.

[*] For example, this guy has actually published a lot and went through an earlier version of this course before that, so it's pretty polished by now. Covers a lot of good stuff. It's all the lectures from an actual college course on writing scifi/fantasy.

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/-6HOdHEe​osc]


Thanks for this.
 
2021-01-21 10:03:44 AM  
Sorry, late to the party.

What lets me know if I'm on track is that I don't look forward to clever parts and they just surprise me.
 
2021-01-21 11:04:49 PM  
So, I've got a stranger than fiction I just learned about.

25 years ago I lived in Berkeley across the street from the Malcolm X Elementary School. A British guy named Simon lived there briefly, and said his brother was in a band that burned a million pounds as an art statement. Years go by, I hear that story a few times.

In the last couple weeks my YouTube suggestions included some songs from the 90s, I end up playing What Time Is Love by KLF, which in turn leads to their song Justified & Ancient featuring Tammy Wynette. Long story, but the band got their name from a fictional band in Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! Trilogy, the Justified Ancients of MuMu (Lemuria). No comment on whether that book influenced me as a teenager.

Now, I'd heard that song before but didn't know it was Tammy Wynette, the Queen of County Music, singing. The video has imagery of transmissions from a lost continent, etc. So, in a way, I received that as a transmission from the past.

Found out the story of the video and the band... which burned a million pounds. So I remembered my old roommate and it turns out he died a couple years ago and his brother wrote about him... and he had built the throne Tammy Wynette was sitting in for the video, along with the model train in Last Train to Trancendence.

I was already writing about RAW for a Jack London article, for a Sonoma County publication. RAW attended a scifi convention in Santa Rosa in the 70s along with Frank Herbert.

And no, I dont find a way to work Frank Herbert into each of my articles.
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